It is truly amazing how long some practices will go without increasing fees or they allow their PMS to auto update fees. Reasons for this seem to be first, there simply isn't anyone tasked with that oversight. If there is, the increases have no rhyme or reason. Second, owners bow to the perception that clients will look elsewhere if fees begin to rise. Lastly, automatic increases based on cost ensure that this task gets done.
Clients may begin to look elsewhere when your fees no longer ring the value bell. As much as we are focused on the stellar medicine, what rings true to the client is the experience you deliver.
Raising fees purely to boost revenue or to compensate for declining revenue is a slippery slope. Work to increase your organic growth which is a more sustainable method of revenue generation. We want to see more foot traffic and more visits; not just larger invoices. More feet in the door means more tongus wagging when they leave! Beat expectations and your referrals will become your front running new client getter.
As your clients' choice of veterinarian you must endeavor daily to earn your fees, and your increases. Implement components in your practice that bond clients and create that much needed value perception. If you are using an automatic system to increase fees, be sure to keep your heavily shopped services and medicines in check. Use the Benchmarks and AAHA to understand industry standards and find a happy medium for your pricing.